Working With A Writing Partner
The Lone Ranger has Tonto, Batman has Robin and ice cream has chocolate sauce. There’s a reason why teams work: the individual components compliment each other’s weaknesses, making a stronger whole.
The same goes for writing.
Sure you could do it your own. But maybe what you need is a someone who can help cover your individual weaknesses to deliver the script that blows any script reader away?
So without further ado, here are 5 reasons why you should consider working with a writing partner.
1) Two heads are better than one
It’s a phrase that most people are familiar with and with good reason … Because it’s true! Some of the best screenplays have been written by writing teams. Would the likes of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, SPACED, or even THE MATRIX have been anywhere near as good if only one person had written them? Double the people, double the number of ideas.
2) It’s more fun, plus you can support each other
Would you rather sit on your own plugging away for hours on end, eventually turning into a bitter hermit or would you rather make it a more sociable and write with a friend who you can laugh a joke with. It’s in these moments that the best ideas appear.
3) You can turn scripts around quicker
Now this might not be true at first as you get used to working with each other. But once things fall into place, you will find that out can turn around drafts quicker than on your own. It’s a simple formula: more scripts = more opportunities = more successes. (Obviously, always ensure quality, otherwise it’s all for nothing).
4) It’s good to argue!
This is inevitable when working with someone else but it’s a good thing. Enjoy these moments because nine times out of ten the script will benefit. If you work with someone and you don’t argue at least a few times when working on a project then it shows that your heart may not be fully in it.
Trust me I’m an expert …
… 2 years ago me and my friend James made a pact. We were going to write screenplays together. Full of ideas but inexperienced, we used our mutual love of TV and movies to push each other to learn more about how to turn these ideas into workable scripts.
In a world where most writers journey alone, we are bouncing ideas off each other and improving at a rate I don’t believe we could have achieved individually. There are times where I wanted to jump down the internet (most of our writing sessions take place via Skype) and slap him across the face. There have, of course, been teething troubles along the way such as ensuring we both commit to writing sessions and them making a part of our everyday routine. We have needed to learn to compromise and understand that our scripts are not one person’s vision.
In other words, we have had to leave our egos at the door. But that’s what I love about working with a partner. I need to be told no. Otherwise I would be writing Game of Thrones fan-scripts where Tyrion Lannister would have a 60 minute speech comprised entirely of amazingingly quotable dialogue. After much experimentation, we have now found a routine that works for us and we are much more productive because of it. But most of all we have a lot more fun working together, than separately.
BIO: Gareth Meredith is currently working on a Sci-Fi Action Drama TV pilot script with James Merigan. Please give them more followers on Twitter @Gareth_Meredith and @JamesMerigan. They are also setting up their own blog which I’m told will be awesome.
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